The woman whose sexual assault allegations against Virginia’s lieutenant governor surfaced this week is speaking publicly about the encounter.
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has repeatedly denied her allegations, saying the encounter was consensual.
Vanessa Tyson issued a statement Wednesday saying Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
The Associated Press typically does not identify those who say they were sexually assaulted, but Tyson issued the statement in her name.
The statement was released by the law from of Katz, Marshall and Banks, a Washington, D.C., firm that includes sexual harasssment cases in its area expertise, according to Politico.
It was the same firm that was retained by Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who accused now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were teenagers, Politico reported.
The woman’s account of a sexual encounter with Fairfax during the Democratic National Convention of 2004 in Boston is graphic.
She stated that both were working at the convention and had met several times during its first two days with “interactions that were cordial, but not flirtatious.”
On the third day, she stated, she accompanied him to his hotel room on a quick errand that was supposed to end with a return to work at the convention.
However, she stated, once in Faifax’s hotel room, things changed.
“What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault,” she stated. “Mr. Fairfax put his hand behind my neck and forcefully pushed my head towards his crotch … Mr. Fairfax forced me to perform oral sex on him.”
After the incident, she stated, she was plagued by feelings of “humiliation and shame” and “did not speak about it for years.” She went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and become a tenured professor at Scripps College in Claremont, California.
Justin Fairfax’s accuser, Vanessa Tyson, speaks out. Her statement is devastating. pic.twitter.com/ppZqjyiB6G
— Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp) February 6, 2019
Earlier Wednesday, Fairfax issued a statement saying the woman expressed no discomfort at the time, or during the years afterward.
He said he first heard about her accusation from a reporter in 2018.
“The first indication I had that she felt that anything that had happened between us 15 years ago made her uncomfortable was when I was contacted by a national media organization shortly before my inauguration in 2018,” he said, according to WTVR in Richmond.
“I voluntarily met with their staff, in person, told them what I knew about the encounter and responded to all of their questions. I also shared the allegation and my account of the events with a number of leaders in Richmond because then, as now, I have nothing to hide.”
He stressed that he harbored no ill feelings toward the accuser.
“I wish her no harm or humiliation, nor do I seek to denigrate her or diminish her voice,” he said, according to WTVR. “I cannot agree with a description of events that I know is not true.”
The woman’s statement is the latest development in a week of turmoil for Virginia Democratice politics.
On Wednesday, Attorney General Mark Herring issued a statement saying he wore brown makeup and a wig in 1980 to look like a black rapper during a party as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia.
Gov. Ralph Northam was already embroiled in a scandal stemming from wearing blackface in the 1980s and is facing calls from the state and national Democrats to step down. If he left, Fairfax would be next in line. If Fairfax could not take over, Herring would be the next in line.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.